Is It Hard to Get Into Greek Life?

Carolina Jacobs

Apr 21, 2023

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Deciding whether or not to rush a sorority or fraternity can be a polarizing issue. Some students could not imagine going to college and missing out on being part of a brother or sisterhood and enjoying all the benefits that go with it. Others have no interest in Greek life and prefer to live by their own rules. It all comes down to personal preference.

However, concerns are natural if you want to join a fraternal organization. Is it hard to get into Greek life? What if you are not accepted? What do you need to do? Here are some things to consider if you want to pledge.

What’s the Rush? 

The first step to take is participating in rush week. This occurs at the beginning of the semester when Greek organizations open their doors and hold events for potential recruits. It’s your time to shine and make a great first impression.

It’s hard to get into Greek life if you don’t look like you want to be there. Be sure to make eye contact, remember people’s names, and be friendly and approachable. Ask lots of questions to learn more about each organization and get a feel for if you will fit in. Consider this a courtship period, where getting to know each other is paramount.

Be sure to ask these questions:

  • What is your ideal member like?
  • Do you have any leadership opportunities?
  • How long is the pledging period?
  • How much does membership cost?

This shows your interest and the seriousness of your commitment. It’s hard to get into Greek life if you don’t interact and engage.

At this stage, you will also get a recruitment counselor to help you through the process and develop your preference list, which will include the organizations you are interested in the most.

Waiting on Those Bids

After rush week and the preference process, the waiting game begins to see if you will receive a bid, or invitation, to pledge a fraternity or sorority. This likely depends on how well you clicked with members during rush week festivities, so hopefully, those first impressions went a long way!

Ideally, you will have received a bid for one of your preferred organizations. Getting a bid is based on many factors. The fraternity or sorority will determine if you are a good fit and see if you selected the group as one of your preferred picks. There are also quotas to consider, so the group may have to extend a certain number of bits to meet that obligation.

However, not everyone will get a bid. Some people may not make the cut, reinforcing their belief that it’s hard to get into Greek life. You can always try again through the continuous open bidding process after the formal recruitment period ends.

Pledging and Working and Hazing, Oh My 

Now that you have your bid, the pledging process begins. Depending on the fraternity or sorority, this may take several weeks or the entire semester. The purpose of pledging is to get to know each other better, learn the history and mission of the organization, complete challenges to prove worthiness, and more.

This is an intensive time and is one of the reasons why it is hard to get into Greek life. Although colleges have clamped down on hazing, the practice still occurs. Hazing can include risks that put pledges at risk, including drinking large amounts of alcohol and engaging in other dangerous behaviors. 

You will also be putting in lots of work, individually and with other pledges, and doing what you are asked during the pledge process. Completing tasks shows you can finish what you start and are committed to the organization and its ideals.

Is It Hard to Get Into Greek Life?

It can be hard to get into Greek life, but doing so proves you are committed, willing to put in hard work, and interested in something greater than yourself. These organizations do a lot of good for their communities and are invested in making their members better, both individually and collectively. Many people who join fraternities or sororities find they have friends for life, so even though it can be challenging, it’s well worth the effort.

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